Self-proclaimed ‘Best Beachcomber’, and Oscar-nominated for his work on The Revenant, Hamish Purdy knows a thing or two about creating illusions, which is why CreativeMornings/Vancouver was so thrilled to have him chat to our community about Fantasy and how creative one could get around it.
As a child, Hamish had a marionette stage set on his desk and became fascinated with the idea of onstage/offstage work people put into it. The first time he ever saw a movie set was from The Changeling (directed by George C. Scott), shot at 57th and Granville. There, he was impressed by a fake rock wall that had been created and the urge to create the same sort of fantasy for audiences was born.
As a set decorator, his main job was making sure he populated the set to make sure everything looks consistent, no matter where the camera goes. On his Oscar-nominated work, The Revenant, he had to create period-correct pieces, diving deep into minute details such as creating mildew effect, tins made to look from that era, aging canvas, finding ways to create the proper tools based on paintings his crew found because the director enjoyed fluid camera work. Everything had to look right so whenever the director or the actor shows up, they wouldn’t have to worry about filming in a contained area. Everything Hamish created for the set was meant to be from 1822—even sneaking in letters from 1822 he found on eBay into a pile on the desk.
Watch his full CreativeMornings/Vancouver talk below:
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